Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Fashion retailer Next [LON:NXT] has published half year results today. Obviously it’s been a difficult few months for retail, although the company’s strong online channel will have offered some support. The most critical point however seems to be that a pre-tax profit for the full year of £300m is now expected, significantly higher than the £195m offered in guidance back in July. That does come with a rider that there’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding the outlook. This is a long report – other details may well be tucked away.
Gene and cell therapy group Oxford Biomedica [LON:OXB] has published six month results for the period to June 30th today. Revenues were up 6%, whilst the operating loss contracted very slightly from its position a year ago. Perhaps of greatest interest is the company’s involvement with the supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. An agreement has been signed with AstraZeneca and a £15m capacity reservation fee has already been received to ensure they can deliver the goods should the therapy prove successful.
The Trainline [LON:TRN] has published half year results covering the period to 31st August this morning. Sales have understandably been decimated by the COVID-19 shut down but the breakdown of numbers here tells an interesting story. In the first quarter, UK sales were 8% of those seen a year earlier, whilst internationally the figure was 10%. Q2 saw a significant divergence with UK sales at 22% and international at 74%. The company anticipates that the pandemic will drive more people to buy train tickets online so should in turn bolster its position in the market. Perhaps more concerning for the wider economy is that sluggish recovery in UK sales.
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